A recent expedition by American marine environmental group BlueVoice has discovered that Peruvian fishermen are harpooning thousands of dolphins and clubbing them to death.
The dolphin meat was used for shark bait and for human consumption.
The BlueVoice group, together with Peruvian company Mundo Azul, returned from their expedition with videos documenting the slaughter of these beautiful creatures, known for their fun-loving nature in the wild.
Stefan Austermuhle, President of Mundo Azul, boarded one of the Peruvian fishing boats. He stated:
“We videotaped from the boat and in the water and what we saw was unimaginably horrific. I just went numb looking at the pitiful dolphin being battered with a club. All I could do was continue recording the event in the hope that making the world aware of this tragedy can somehow bring an end to it.”
Mr. Austermuhle estimated that up to fifteen thousand dolphins have been killed by the fishermen.
BlueVoice executive director Hardy Jones stated:
“Killing dolphins is illegal in Peru. The laws are difficult to enforce on the high seas, however dolphin meat is sold in markets on shore and could be controlled at that point, if police were willing to do so.”
In addition to the slaughter of the dolphins the Peruvian fishermen were capturing thousands of blue and mako sharks. This cruel process – which defins the sharks and lets them lie in the boat until dead has been known by the international community, but the dolphin slaughter has only been proven recently. Mr. Jones added:
“Though it is well known that Peruvian fishermen take hundreds of sharks, until now the world has been unaware of the vast slaughter of dolphins off Peru. Many are keenly aware of the dreadful killing of dolphins at Taiji, Japan and assume that is the largest slaughter of dolphins in the world; far from it. In fact, the killing of dolphins for food, called dolphin bush meat, is a worldwide problem and may be growing as traditional fisheries collapse.”
Mr. Jones has been a leading advocate for dolphins since 2000, when he founded BlueVoice. He is credited with exposing the Japanese dolphin slaughters and others around the world.
The eating of dolphin meat is not foreign to Peruvians. San Jose Peru Mayor Victor Paiva told Dr Yaipen-Llanos and Hardy Jones during an interview that he ate dolphin meat often, and ten City Hall employees who were asked also admitted to eating dolphin meat. A village woman responded, “the village subsists almost entirely on dolphin meat”.
BlueVoice announced a campaign to end the dolphin slaughter in Peru. To get involved or check out the evidence, go to: http://www.bluevoice.org/